Fire Pink

Aging rural Champions are getting in touch with themselves, not so much as might be considered introspection, but of tick inspection. Much of the aggravation associated with the itching is directed at The General who routinely relocates Vanzanticks to the west side of Fox Creek. Friends and alumni of the Denlow and Fairview Schools will have the opportunity to call him to task for that and other shenanigans at the Denlow School Reunion on Saturday the 27th. Folks will come from Iowa, Arkansas, St. Louis and other places for the potluck luncheon followed by serious socializing, auction fun in the pavilion, and the chance to discuss history with the gentleman. Monday he was trimming weeds up at the race track memorial, expecting an onslaught of tourists over the Memorial Day weekend.

Summer school is well underway at Skyline. Teresa Wrinkles has spent lots of time in school. She is retiring this year. Her birthday is May 22nd. She is still making Esther’s coconut pie recipe. Prekindergarten student Jennings Harley may not be in summer school but will be celebrating a birthday on the 24th of May along with Chase Cauthron’s mom. Skyline staff member, Leslie, enjoys Mountain Dew, caramel popcorn, and Snickers. Her birthday is May 26th which happens to also be that of lovely Lena Bell. She has been seen waltzing with Jerry Wagner and is known to be a staunch defender of her infamous younger brother. Ed Henson was born May 23, 1903. The many stories about him around Champion are full of good humor. Memories of him still bring smiles. Smile for Brylee Clark, born May 28, 2010. That day is also a big one for Dale Thomas and Jessie Mae Miller, though we will not ask in what years. Happy birthday to you. Have some fun.

Back in the early 1950s the Maxwell House Coffee people sponsored a radio show “Life with Luigi.” It always started with a letter to Luigi’s mother: “Dear Mama mia,” and would go on to tell the story. That was the way an old Champion began every letter to her until her mother, a fan of Luigi and Pasquale, passed away in 1975. An excerpt from another letter, postmarked May 13, 1993, begins: “Dear Mother, The birds of morning have been singing for quite sometime and even if you had never seen the sunrise or even heard of morning, you would know that something really groovy is fixing to happen.” The phone lines were smoking on Sunday with declarations of love and devotion for the all the dear ladies. A lovely geranium in a beautiful blue pot, hand painted by a sweet young friend, has topped the holiday off in a marvelous way. On behalf of many mothers, thank you all for your loving gestures.

Wednesday’s treat came with a Champion visit by Bob and Ethel Leach. Like everyone, they have been busy this spring, but they plan to be back in the Historic Emporium more often this summer. The band will have to update their Gene Autry songs. Tom Petty said, “Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved in it. It’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things….” Bob might like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He knows a lot about music and still will not sell the beautiful little mandolin banjo that sits languishing on his mantle unplayed. Alas. Perhaps Bob and Ethel’s neighbors, Richard, Dawn, Lorelei, and Wade, will find time to play out on the wide veranda this summer. They are a dulcimer family.

Miss Denlow’s dad, freshly home from an East Texas hog hunt, stopped by to lend a much needed hand to some old folks wrangling a washing machine. It did not take long, but it was a great help. We are blessed to have good neighbors. The memorial trail ride named for Bud Hutchison heading up in Champion Wednesday looks like it will be blessed with good weather. The riders always have a good time and come back to the store with stories to tell and a serious hankering for ice cream. This is one of the traditions that keeps Champions Looking on the Bright Side!

Another Champion Spring